Theme: God's Word is a wonderful treasure which shows us how to inherit all of the treasures of heaven. This treasure is for all people, but some people have never been told about it. Others are not able to open it because the Bible is not written in their language.
We can be a part of sharing God's treasure with people all over the world as we share the Gospel with those around us, and as we help to support missionaries.
Bible Text: Matthew 28:18-20
Message: "I just found a treasure clue. (Show it to the students.) This is so exciting! I love clues that show where to find treasure. Here let me read it to you."
"Gorillas Ostrich Lollipops Opposite Owls Kites Ukuleles Noodles Dimples Earlobes Rectangular Timbuktu Halibut Emus Ballet Antlers Candles Kangaroos Lamppost Elephants Flippers Termites Penguins Eat Worms".
"I am really quite puzzled about this clue." (Ask someone if they have any idea what the clue means. This should be someone you have prompted beforehand. That person takes the clue, reads it, and offers up the idea of using the first letter of each word to figure out the answer. The two of you should figure it out together.) Then say, "Oh, it's telling us to go look under the back left pew for the treasure." (Ask the other person to go look and bring it to you.) "Look, it's a Bible!" (The other person asks why this is such a great treasure.) You say: "The Bible is the Word of God. It contains a great treasure. The Good News of how to become God's children is right in that book. When we read God's Word, we learn how Jesus gave His life for us and for the whole world. He did this so that whoever believes in Him will be able to live with Him forever.
"The treasure in the Bible is for everybody, but not everybody can find the treasure. Millions of people do not have God's Word written in their language. They need people to help translate the Bible for them, just like _______ (the person who helped you) helped me translate the clue to discover the secret to the treasure. (The other person asks you who these Bible translators are.) You say, "They are people who study very hard for two years to learn how to study different languages and translate them into a language that the people can understand. After preparing for their work, they are sent overseas to work with a language group in writing God's Word in their language. First, they train people from that group to work with them. Then, they put the language into written form and work for many years to translate the Bible into the language the people understand. They also help to teach them to read and write in their native language. In addition, they put God's Word in songs, on audio and video cassettes and in other forms so that everyone in that language group will be able to understand the Bible in their own language."
"God needs all kinds of missionaries. Maybe one of you will become an overseas missionary. That would be wonderful! However, we do not have to go to another country before telling people about Jesus. Matthew 28:18-20 says, "Then Jesus came to them and said, ĎAll authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" Jesus wants all of us to share the Good News with the people around us and to be a part of telling people all over the world about His love. We can do that by praying for missionaries and giving our offerings to help send them overseas. Let's pray right now for God to give us the strength and wisdom to share the Good News of Jesus with others."